Ralph Woodward and Church Choral Music

20 February 2006 at 12:21 am 1 comment

In 1975, Ralph Woodward, Professor of Music and Choral Director at BYU, wrote an essay titled Choral Music in the Church. Woodward gives guidelines and sets standards for selecting choral music for use in sacred services, such as sacrament meeting. The three page article is worth reading.

At the end of the essay I was excited to see his recommendation for an Easter Cantata, The Seven Last Words of Christ, by Heinrich Schutz. I have been thinking about what the choir could do for Easter. I found an SATB arrangement of Seven Last Words at SheetMusic Plus and ordered a couple of copies to look over.

Woodward’s essay was part of a unique 1975 issue of Dialogue that was all about music in the Church. There are some other interesting articles I plan on reading. One interesting bit of history I gleaned was that, during the passing of the sacrament, the organist used to play music. In “The Future of Music in the Church” Reid Nibley describes his memories of this in his childhood.

What is your ward choir planning to do for Easter Sunday?


Entry filed under: History, Music ideas.

Sources of Ward Choir Music on the Web The Merrill Bradshaw archive

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Dave  |  19 March 2011 at 10:31 pm

    I’m still looking for something for Easter. Something for a small choir that can be picked up quickly. Any ideas? RIght now I’m thinking of I Stand All Amazed from Hymnplicity. But I’m open to other ideas!


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